Teaching the New Perspective on Greek Voice

Paul-Nitz
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Re: Teaching the New Perspective on Greek Voice

Post by Paul-Nitz » May 31st, 2016, 5:34 am

Carl,

I imagine your revised paper will influence many (πείσει γε ἐμέ). So, deciding on terms is important.

cwconrad wrote:2. Terminology and assumptions about the categories:

διάθεσις ἡ κοινή, διάθεσις ἡ ἑαυτική as Greek names for what have traditionally been called “Active” and Middle-Passive” voice-categories.

English equivalents: “Standard diathesis” and “Reflexive diathesis.”


Whatever you settle on, I will try to use in the future, but I wonder if you would consider these recommendations from a guy in the trenches.

Instead of διάθεσις ἡ κοινή, διάθεσις ἡ ἑαυτική, how about:
  • κοινὴ διὰθεσις, ἑαυτικὴ διάθεσις ?

    Simpler. Short is better in terminology.
Instead of English equivalents, “Standard diathesis” and “Reflexive diathesis,” how about:
  • Common Voice and Self-Affected Voice ?

    I think “common” and “self-affected” match nicely with the Greek terms. I think “self-affected” is more accurate than “reflexive.”
If I remember right, you dislike the term “voice.” The term “voice” is so universally used, I don’t think it be changed or avoided. Besides, because it is so universally used and virtually devoid of meaning, I don't find it misleading. Plus, practically speaking, I don’t think many would willingly give up the familiar term “voice” for “diathesis.”

I don’t feel the same way about some other terms. I can live with “voice,” but “present” when used for subjunctive, infinitive, imperative, participle” should be struck from a teachers vocabulary and blotted out in any student grammar.

My two cents, anyway. ἆρα πέποιθας, διδάσκαλε;

Paul Nitz
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Paul D. Nitz - Lilongwe Malawi

Paul-Nitz
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Re: Teaching the New Perspective on Greek Voice

Post by Paul-Nitz » June 2nd, 2016, 9:21 am

I'm still hoping for some comments on terms for Voice (see post immediately above) and don't want to bury it, but I have a quick side question.

Major suggest παύω as a good verb to use in teaching voice. See this thread

I agree. I'm just finished with a series of communicative lessons using παύω (along with πορεύομαι - ἐπορεύθη, δύναται ἐδύνατο). We've been going out in the warm sun and traveling (πορεύεται ἐπορεύθη), stopping (παύεται ἔπαύσατο), stopping one another (παύει ἔπαυσεν) and being stopped (παύεται ἐπαύθη).

What other verbs can you think of that like παύω have a middle sense Aorist and a Passive sense Aorist?
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cwconrad
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Re: Teaching the New Perspective on Greek Voice

Post by cwconrad » June 2nd, 2016, 2:05 pm

Paul-Nitz wrote:I'm still hoping for some comments on terms for Voice (see post immediately above) and don't want to bury it, but I have a quick side question.\
I'm going to ignore the side-question and try to give an honest response to your earlier question about terminology.
Paul-Nitz wrote:I imagine your revised paper will influence many (πείσει γε ἐμέ). So, deciding on terms is important.
I am not so sanguine. Why? (a) The facts of Greek voice morphology and usage will not resolve into a simple framework and a few descriptive statements that apply to all the facts with perfect consistency; (b) Consensus regarding how best to state the descriptions and even more regarding the terminology best suited to the elements of the framework cannot expect any quick resolution.
cwconrad wrote:2. Terminology and assumptions about the categories:
διάθεσις ἡ κοινή, διάθεσις ἡ ἑαυτική as Greek names for what have traditionally been called “Active” and Middle-Passive” voice-categories.
English equivalents: “Standard diathesis” and “Reflexive diathesis.”
Paul-Nitz wrote:Whatever you settle on, I will try to use in the future, but I wonder if you would consider these recommendations from a guy in the trenches.
Instead of διάθεσις ἡ κοινή, διάθεσις ἡ ἑαυτική, how about:
κοινὴ διὰθεσις, ἑαυτικὴ διάθεσις ?
Simpler. Short is better in terminology.
That suits me.
Paul-Nitz wrote:Instead of English equivalents, “Standard diathesis” and “Reflexive diathesis,” how about:
Common Voice and Self-Affected Voice ?
I think “common” and “self-affected” match nicely with the Greek terms. I think “self-affected” is more accurate than “reflexive.”
If I remember right, you dislike the term “voice.” The term “voice” is so universally used, I don’t think it [can] be changed or avoided. Besides, because it is so universally used and virtually devoid of meaning, I don't find it misleading. Plus, practically speaking, I don’t think many would willingly give up the familiar term “voice” for “diathesis.”
Regarding what I’ve chosen to give the Greek term ἑαυτικὴ διάθεσις; I like the Greek term. I do indeed despise the term “voice” but like you, I think it’s stuck in concrete in linguistic termonology; I think that “diathesis” is a better term, especially insofar as it is actually used by some linguists and has a pedigree going back to Dionysius Thrax.

I’m content with simplification of κοινὴ διάθεσις and ἑαυτικὴ διάθεσις. Although “common” is one gloss for κοινή, “vulgar” would be about as good or bad and equally archaic. “Standard” works for me because this is the inflectional pattern for most verbs (including the so-called Aorist “passive”); the other “diathesis” is marked for self-affectedness as the “standard” diathesis is not.

As things stand now, that is to say, as long as “the new perspective on Greek Voice” remains a minority perspective, I’m hesitant to suggest radical changes in terminology. For the Greek terms I’m happy with κοινὴ διάθεσις and ἑαυτικὴ διάθεσις; for English designations, I’d prefer to retain echoes of traditional designation by referring to the three inflectional patterns that we have traditional termed “Active”, “Middle-Passive” and “Passive” respectively by the Roman-letter designations “A”, “MP1” and “MP2.” This clearly has roots in traditional terminology but points to the θη/η inflectional pattern as ambivalent in the same manner as the μαι/σαι/ται;μην/σο/το inflectional pattern.
Paul-Nitz wrote: I don’t feel the same way about some other terms. I can live with “voice,” but “present” when used for subjunctive, infinitive, imperative, participle” should be struck from a teachers vocabulary and blotted out in any student grammar.
My two cents, anyway. ἆρα πέποιθας, διδάσκαλε;
I hear you, my friend; we’re straining toward common ground. I think we’ve come a long way toward understanding the problems but I think we have a ways to go before we reach an agreement on what to call the principal movers and shakers in this arena.
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οὔτοι ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς πάντα θεοὶ θνητοῖς ὑπέδειξαν,
ἀλλὰ χρόνῳ ζητέοντες ἐφευρίσκουσιν ἄμεινον. (Xenophanes, Fragment 16)

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)

Paul-Nitz
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Re: Teaching the New Perspective on Greek Voice

Post by Paul-Nitz » October 10th, 2016, 10:40 am

ROAD – Greek Voice
I want to show off a video I created which tries to inductively review Greek Voice.
I'd be happy with criticism or praise - preferably in equal measures.

[video]https://youtu.be/Chcot-xLnIE?t=1m23s[/video]
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RandallButh
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Re: Teaching the New Perspective on Greek Voice

Post by RandallButh » October 11th, 2016, 2:34 am

Paul,
That is a very nice video. Congratulations. It effectively uses English in a media situation where the meaning is otherwise difficult to communicate.
Greek is doable but in a longer sequence of video.
I will send some small details privately.
Randall
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cwconrad
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Re: Teaching the New Perspective on Greek Voice

Post by cwconrad » October 15th, 2016, 8:51 am

Paul, I've been wanting to comment on your video; I've watched it twice, on different days. I really think you do a very nice job of showing what the subject-affected forms do that is distinct, and I think this is hard to do in a way that doesn't draw upon assumptions derived from one's native language.

It's now been more than fifteen years since I taught in a classroom, but I still am troubled in mind at the thought of presenting a first accounting of how a construction works in Greek: there is the need to simplify and get at what is "really" basic in the construction; at the same time, I'm always aware of what might be misleading in the simplified account, always mindful of alternative elements that complicate the simple account set forth. When dealing with Greek dιάθεσις, one of those factors is transitivity; another is the catch-all functionality of the κοινὴ διάθεσις -- τρέχειν/δραμεῖν is intrinsically self-affected, but it regularly appears in the κοινὴ διάθεσις except in the future δραμεῖσθαι. Then there's the distinctive sense of those aorists in -(θ)ἤναι, -ῶναι, -ῦναι which don't so much indicate manipulation by subject or external agent/instrument but "getting into a state."

I'm curious to see what qualifications Randall would add to your presentation. Nevertheless, I really do like what you've done.
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οὔτοι ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς πάντα θεοὶ θνητοῖς ὑπέδειξαν,
ἀλλὰ χρόνῳ ζητέοντες ἐφευρίσκουσιν ἄμεινον. (Xenophanes, Fragment 16)

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)

Jonathan Robie
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Re: Teaching the New Perspective on Greek Voice

Post by Jonathan Robie » October 18th, 2016, 2:19 pm

I agree that this is a great introduction - nice choice of examples, useful diagrams that get the intuition across well.

I suspect Carl's concerns could be addressed by Part Two of the video ... and parts Three and Four ;->
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ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
http://jonathanrobie.biblicalhumanities.org/

Paul-Nitz
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Re: Teaching the New Perspective on Greek Voice

Post by Paul-Nitz » October 23rd, 2016, 10:57 am

I'd love to do Part 2, 3, 4.
Suggest a theme and sample words for the next Part. I'll draw a new road to travel down.
ἐνδυναμοῦσθε,
Σαῦλος
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Paul D. Nitz - Lilongwe Malawi

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